There is nothing like the kind of book that reels you in within the first few chapters. The best ones can do that instantly with just a word or sentence. You know the book. You just can’t put it down.
I did not understood the pull of the Harry Potter series until I began reading them to my daughter. Boy was I hooked! The details and characterizations were enthralling. My husband would have to stop me each night, otherwise I would continue reading well past her bedtime.
Can a leadership book do this? Can a “self-help” book really be so engaging that you just can’t put it down? The answer is yes and it happened to me recently. Two books captured my attention and time melted away.
First, a book with a very unique name: Fish Rot from the Head Down by Gretchen Fierle volumes I and II stole my attention in May. Each book contains bite sized morsels to help you reflect on different components of leadership. Each “chapter” has discussion questions to assist the reader to begin the journey toward possible changes and solutions. (I put chapter in quotes because each chapter is only page). They are not tomes with big words and highfalutin management speak – they are quick, impactful lessons about leadership from Gretchen’s experience and research.
Moving on to June, I tore through an advance copy of Scott Miller’s new book, Management Mess to Leadership Success (released on June 18, 2019). Scott is an Executive Vice President with Franklin Covey and hosts their weekly OnLeadership Webcast. The book includes 30 daily challenges centered on a story from his life. Each story is very relatable and based on a tenant of Franklin Covey culture. His candor was very refreshing. Much like Gretchen, he was open about his failures as much as his successes. The book was engaging because he didn’t try to sound like he had all the answers or was perfect at his craft, just that he tried something, reflected on it and learned from the experience.
You can tackle each challenge in order or jump around, your choice. If you prefer to focus on a specific set of topics, the challenges are grouped into three parts: Lead Yourself, Lead Others, and Get Results. I enjoyed the relaxed nature of the book and appreciated the additional resources he shared throughout to promote further exploration and learning.
I plan to use both Scott and Gretchen's books as quick “reading assignments” and discussion starters with my colleagues, professionals’ group, and Lean-in Circle. They are both leadership treasures.
So, what’s on your book list this summer? I’m looking for my next “can’t put it down” book.
Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash